Archives For Resources

True MissionPastor, you’ve got a sleeping giant in your church. If you awake that sleeping giant, it’ll change your church, your community and the world. This sleeping giant in your church is your unengaged lay people.

If 10 percent of your church does most of the work, you have nine entire churches your size sitting on the sidelines each week. Fully engaged, the ministry potential of your church is mind-boggling!

Each Sunday, church pews are filled with members who are doing nothing with their faith except “keeping” it. The designation active member in most churches simply means those who attend regularly and financially support the church. Not much more is expected.

But God has far greater expectations for every Christian. He expects every Christian to use their gifts and talents in ministry. If we can ever awaken and unleash the massive talent, resources, creativity, and energy found in the typical local church, Christianity will explode with growth at an unprecedented rate.

I believe that the greatest need in evangelical churches is the release of members for ministry. George Gallup once took a survey and discovered that only ten percent of American church…

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Subversive KingdomSome people talk as if the church isn’t necessary to this endeavor anymore, that it no longer applies to his plan and mission to the same degree it once did. They say, “God is at work outside the church”–and, yes, he is. They say, “The kingdom is bigger than the church”–and, yes, it is. They say, “The kingdom of God is not the church”–and no, it isn’t.

But the missionary purpose that forges our identity, placed within us by a missional God, continues to draw us into the core of his kingdom activity. The ministry of his gospel has been designed “so that God’s multi-faceted wisdom may now be made known through the church” (Eph. 3:10, italics added). And so that through us, he receives glory.

The church, therefore, remains his central tool for accomplishing the subversive kingdom’s agenda. No, we are not the means of reconciliation any more than the misinformed modern citizen is the potential conduit to heaven on earth. God does the saving, not the church. But just as he sent Jesus here to establish a beachhead for the kingdom, and just as Jesus dispatched his first disciples…

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churchwidecampaign_thumbIf you’ve ever heard the story of Saddleback, you know we moved from one location to another for twelve years before moving onto our campus in 1992. We met in 67 locations in our first 15 years of existence — and broke every church-planting rule that says you must have a consistent meeting location! We grew to more than 10,000 in attendance before we had our first building.

So I’ve never believed that meeting locations are critical to a church fulfilling its mission.

But where you meet to worship is still an important ministry tool for your church. Here are four simple rules we’ve learned at Saddleback throughout the years.

  • Don’t let the shoe tell the foot how big it can get – Never be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to making the most out of your worship space. When your meeting space begins to limit your growth, then it is time to think creatively. Add another service. Find a different venue. Do whatever it takes.
  • Make sure you have enough space – When your service is 80 percent filled, you need to start another service. This is…

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What On Earth Am I Here For?We’re showing you this letter from Rick to the Saddleback Staff for a couple of reasons.

First, it is reflective of the way Rick communicates to the staff.

  • He says things in a positive way and conveys his own sense of excitement about the things that are happening at the church.
  • He gives tangible examples that show success, and then he affirms the staff.
  • He also talks about the ‘this is next’ plans, helping to building enthusiasm for what comes next. He wants to avoid a let down after the hard work of a successful plan.

Second, he’s already talking about Easter, helping the staff to prepare for a high attendance Weekend.

Third, he talks about Saddleback’s new campaign, “LIVE YOUR CALLING: What On Earth Am I Here For?” This campaign has been reimagined for a new generation and offers a discipleship tool proven to be effective in any church, regardless of size.

What’s happening on the Weekends for the next 10weeks — up to Easter

Dear Staff,

I hope you sense the air of excitement and growth our church has entered into. Last we had 24,500 at services!!!! FOUR of…

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Rest of Your Life

On Sunday, January 6th, Pastor Rick delivered a sermon to prepare the Saddleback church community for the upcoming campaign What On Earth Am I Here For?. If your church is starting the campaign on the National launch day of February 3rd, we thought you could use this sermon to prepare your members and start to talk about forming small groups. We are offering this download free, and we will offer next week’s sermon for free as well.

Thousands of churches will be taking part in What On Earth Am I Here For? and we can’t wait to hear about how it affects your church. Please make sure to email us with testimonies or any questions at [email protected].

Getting Ready For The Rest Of Your Life by Rick Warren

Download from Saddleback Resources

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New Purpose Driven Life

The most basic question everyone faces in life is Why am I here? What is my purpose? Self-help books suggest that people should look within, at their own desires and dreams, but Rick Warren says the starting place must be with God and his eternal purposes for each life. Real meaning and significance comes from understanding and fulfilling God’s purposes for putting us on earth.

The Purpose-Driven Life takes the groundbreaking message of the award-winning Purpose-Driven Church and goes deeper, applying it to the lifestyle of individual Christians. This book helps readers understand God’s incredible plan for their lives. Warren enables them to see the big picture of what life is all about and begin to live the life God created them to live.

The Purpose-Driven Life is a manifesto for Christian living in the 21st century…a lifestyle based on eternal purposes, not cultural values. Using biblical stories and letting the Bible speak for itself, Warren clearly explains God’s five purposes for each of us:

  • We were planned for God’s pleasure
    • so your first purpose is to offer real worship.
  • We were formed for God’s family

Leaders are Readers: 9 Tips for Picking Good Books

More than 1,000 books are printed every day in the world, and several thousand new religious titles come out each year. So how can you recognize jewels from junk when you’re looking for a book?

Here are a few tips:

Know the author.

This is the most important tool you have. I’ll buy anything published by certain authors. But there are other authors I won’t read Learn from experience who’s good and who’s not. If you read something that’s bad, think twice before you read something else from that author. When you read something good, check out that author’s next book.

Read the cover and the jacket.

Pay attention to the author’s credentials when you look at the jacket. It matters. Too many books have great titles, but nothing else. The author just felt like writing a book. Check out the author on the jacket cover. Try to discern if he or she has any experience concerning the book’s topic. Of course, sometimes you have to take the jacket copy with a grain a salt. Often it’s just hype and sales copy. But you…

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Recently at a LifeWay chapel service, we hosted Dr. Lamar Vest, who is the President and CEO of the American Bible Society. I had the privilege of introducing Dr. Vest, and, while doing so, I shared a bit of my own background and how I was impacted by the American Bible Society.

As a new young believer, I would order Bibles in different languages from the American Bible Society to share with friends who spoke those different languages. I also collected a few of those Bibles on my own, and valued and appreciated the contribution of the American Bible Society to the distribution of the word. The American Bible Society continues its ongoing passion for making the Bible available, understandable, and read by people all over the world. It has a particular interest in Bible engagement, not just Bible distribution, but how people read, dig deeper and are changed by the Bible.

However, what many people do not know is that the American Bible Society is behind a Bible translation, and there are actually missiological impulses that undergird their translation.

After I introduced…

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I was deeply saddened to hear the news about the passing of Calvin Miller. It was always a joy to learn from him.

A native of Enid, Oklahoma, Dr. Miller was a faithful servant of the church. Though he only pastored two churches in his lifetime, his 25-years of service at Westside Church in Omaha, Nebraska, shaped his ministry and that of many others. Under his leadership, Westside grew from 10 members to over 2,500 when he left to join the faculty of Southwestern Seminary in 1991. Since 1999, Dr. Miller had served at Beeson Divinity School (one of my alma maters).

A prolific writer, he authored more than forty books and countless poems and free-lance articles. Dr. Miller was deeply committed to the evangelism, apologetics, and cultural engagement for the cause of Christ. He even contributed a “Letter to the Church” for the Mission of God Study Bible (that essay is below). When he asked me to endorse his book, Letters to a Young Pastor, I felt like a kid was asked to endorse a celebrity. (You should get the book.)

He was never one…

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